No one knows how things would have played out had their paths not crossed. But one thing is sure, Nollywood star, Funke Akindele, better known as Jenifa is a mighty blessing to her hubby Abdul Rasheed Bello, better known as JJCSkillz; and he is not hiding it.

At the recent screening of their first joint project, a drama series which takes into account the travails of budding artistes, JJCSkillz disclosed that the project was gathering dust in his study until his wife breathed new life into it. The drama merged the world of music, movies and media into one.

Screening of the pilot episode of ‘Industreet’ which took place at IMAX Cinema Lekki attracted guests like, Joke Silva, Rita Dominic,Toke Makinwa, Ice Prince, Kayswitch, Kate Henshaw, Adunni Adewale, Moet Abebe, Ariyike Akinbobola,Mr and Mrs Gbadamosi of Amen Estate, Tosin Martins, Layole Oyatogun, Sam Onyemelukwe (MD Trace TV), the cast and signees of SOO Records (Gen Stones, Mo Eazy, Sonorous Martins Feelz and other prominent personalities.

At the end of the screening which lasted for 45 minutes, JJCskillz, who wrote and directed the TV drama, was full of gratitude to his wife, whom he said God used to make the dream a reality. His wife, Funke Akindele-Bello, who produced Industreet for Scene One Production was full of praises of the cast and the crew.

Assembly and the palace of the Oba of Benin. When no respite came from all those , he opted for court action where judgment was delivered in favour of the zoo but again, that didn’t deter the land poachers from
plundering the land of the zoo, thereby destroying its ecosystem, flora and fauna resources.

Not relenting in his bid to rescue what is left of the plundered zoo, Ehanire spoke of efforts at drawing the attention of Gov. Godwin Obaseki to the plight of the zoo. ‘‘We have sent letters to the governor on the extant matters and maintained contacts with the solicitor general and the secretary to the state government on the issue,’’ he said.

Furthermore, Ehanire disclose that: ‘‘We equally sought and have been promised audience with the governor. We are, therefore, hopeful that the new governor will take a decisive approach to save the zoo from the grips of brigandage and looters. We are also anxious as to when specific government interventions would commence to save the zoo, before all that needs to be saved are totally destroyed. ‘‘We do pray
that the forces of light will prevail over those of darkness in this nascent and very promising administration of Obaseki.’’

MEET B-RAY, ABUJA’S NEW SINGING SENSATION
The nation’s performing art got a major boost recently as Abuja’s new singing sensation B-Ray, premiered an enthralling stage performance of her single debut entitled, “Don’t Run Away”. That evening, all roads led to Club Tarvan, opposite EMAB Plaza Wuse 2, venue of the command performance that was witnessed by the who-is-who, in the entertainment industry. The playlist included Washington DC, Dr. Aruba, Shortcut, Amb. Wahala, Mr. ODL, Gospel Alhaji, Yaksman and 3310 among others.

The unveiling was timed to coincide with B-Ray’s major launch into the entertainment circle not only in the Federal Capital Territory but in Nigeria in general. Speaking shortly after her captivating performance B-Ray whose real name is Peace Ebere Okoye Obianika, expressed her determination to succeed as an entertainer.

B-Ray as her fans call her, is from Nneni in Anambra State but was born in Abuja in 1986. She began to sing when she turned 22. Asked what motivated her, she replied that she just likes singing. “I don’t just come out and sing. My music comes through inspiration. I’m either inspired by God or my husband.

When I remember how caring he is, I’m inspired to sing. I’d start singing either to say thank you or recognise and appreciate his love and attention. That’ the source of my inspiration and how my music gets the desired content. I sing R&B and Afro Soul. From the inspiration, you’d find out that my lyrics are tilted towards love and thanksgiving. I have a track titled ‘Don’t Run Away,’ it’s a soul song and currently getting some airplay. It’s message of unity and love.

When couples quarrel or have a dispute, they fail to realise the need to quickly resolve the issue, because happiness is a necessary ingredient for marital harmony. The song is a soul-mender, it encourages married people to realise when they cross their boundary, and the need to say ‘I’m Sorry’ for peace to reign and for them to return to speaking terms again. The other track, ‘Ifeoma’ is dedicated to those about to wed, the newly wed and their ilk, to celebrate their day, a day that is special in the life of every woman. I mentioned my husband’s name Osita in the middle of the song as fitting tribute. I like the way he talks, and what he does, so I acknowledge
all these as I sing.”

B-Ray holds a B.Sc degree in Business Administration from the University of Calabar. After her studies, she moved to Ghana and then to South Africa before coming back to work briefly in the banking and oil sectors of the economy. Not getting the satisfaction she craved, B-Ray quickly returned to her first love, music and singing and right now, her single track titled Don’t Run Away has hit the airwaves with a bang. B-Ray now happily married, is a talented hot artiste whose brand of music will bring joy to many homes and also add colour to the entertainment industry in Nigeria and beyond.

THRILLING SENSATION CONTINUES GCGT
After an electrifying episode last week, God’s Children Great Talent (GCGT7) will roll its third episode on TV screens across Nigeria and United Kingdom with astonishing talents on display today.
For what promises to be a breath-taking television show, Episode 3 will showcase phenomenal talents from Port Harcourt who will battle to impress GCGT7 judges comprising award winning singer, Omawumi, music producer TY Mix and prolific dancer, Kaffy

Last Sunday, five finalists emerged from Abuja region and moved on to GCGT7 semi-finals in Lagos. This includes nine year-old gospel rapper Enoch who charmed the hearts of the judges by raising the roof with his “hallelujah” rap dab, and eight-year-old Peter was absolutely amazing with how well he handled the instrument and left the audience amazed.

With the search open to acts from ages 5 to 20, GCGT has brought the variety format back to the forefront by showcasing unique performances from across the country. The show is a true celebration of creativity and talent, featuring a colourful array of singers, dancers, comedians, spoken word artist and hopeful stars, all vying to win the judges hearts and the grand prize of N250 million management deal, N10 million and a brand new car.

AROUND THE PARK WITH FOUR CHINESE JOURNALISTS

–Yinka Olatunbosun

When the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) embarked on a Lagos tour with four senior Chinese journalists, one major challenge was to overcome the potent language barrier. Unlike the French language, the Chinese language is one of the least spoken languages by Nigerians.

Although quite recently, some private schools in Lagos have incorporated the
language in the school curriculum, it is still perceived as a rather difficult language.
Defying the language barrier, the National President, NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile led the delegation to three destinations in Lagos for sightseeing and cultural understanding. Also in attendance was the Chairman, NUJ Lagos, Deji Elumoye. Muri Okunola and Freedom Park were visited before the team finally left for the state-capital based Ndubuisi Kanu Park.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Park holds a very important historical and cultural deposit of knowledge that the Nigerian journalists share with their Chinese counterparts. The interpreter had the burden of communicating correctly and quickly the meanings of the conversations that were directed at them. It was quite frustrating as one interpreter didn’t seem enough to perform that daunting task.

The four journalists from China were the Director of International Department of All-China-Journalists’ Association, Rong Changhen; the Deputy Editor-in-Chief, China News Service, Zhang Ming Xin; the Vice President, Shaanxi Daily Media Group, Fan Yanbin and the Deputy Chief Editor, Beijing Daily Group, Wu Yi Lin.
The Chinese journalists’ faces bore different shades of emotions when they were told the story behind the Freedom Park. A former colonial prison which had a high mortality rate for prisoners, the park-in its modern architectural form still retains some vignettes of this sad history.

One of the security men at Entrance A offered a bit of the prison yard stories when he voluntarily accompanied the team to the museum where some artifacts had been preserved for cultural reference.
The walls of the museum were lined with the portraits of former fighters for Nigeria’s Independence from the colonial British government led by the Queen of England. The pictures of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Herbert Macaulay provided fresh topic for conversation with the Chinese journalists who were soaking in the details of the pre-independence experience.

“Awolowo was a journalist and even Herbert Macaulay was a journalist,’’ Odusile added in the midst of the surrounding Chinese murmurs. For those of us who were curious, the interpreter was only doing a one-way interpretation since most of the experiences that amused the Chinese were lost on us.
The passage between the former prison cells were paved with interlocking blocks that led to the food court, an open-air space for drinks and small chops. The visiting journalists glanced up and down the trees which are labelled. The only building that they couldn’t access was the Kongi’s building since there was no event taking place at the hour.

When this reporter found a colleague from NAN speaking with the Chinese journalists, it became tempting to ask them their names in English. Good enough, they responded by writing down the names on the writing pad or by giving out their personal business cards.
Apparently, they understood some basic English expressions but would rather communicate more effectively in the mother tongue- a big lesson for us in self preservation.

YAW’S APERE HOLDS AT EKO HOTELS
The 9th edition of the “Yaw Live on Stage” series tagged Apere holds today at Eko Hotels Convention Centre. Over the years, Yaw has transformed from being just a funny OAP and TV actor into a professional comedian and stage play actor. From the first edition of “Yaw Live on Stage” series, there has been a noticeable difference in his flair. His antics and delivery have become funnier and more relatable and you wouldn’t want to miss out on what he has planned out this year.

The AperePERE buzz has gone beyond the shores of Nigeria and Sound Sultan’s feature in the stage play has raised some eyebrows but reports have revealed otherwise. It is being said that musician and actor Sound Sultan will bring exceptional to the Apere experience. Rumour has it that after Apere, he might delve into fulltime acting.